Health  

The liver as a detoxifier (2)

Paul-Nanna-Logo-CopyWe continue this week with whole grains and nuts as we discuss foods that keep the liver healthy and support it in its function.
Whole grains and nuts

Whole grains like whole wheat, whole oats and brown rice, high in the B-complex vitamins, help to decongest the liver and support fat metabolism in the liver. They also play a significant role in energy production in the liver.
Walnuts

There is a high presence of the amino acid arginine in walnuts (the roasted ones sold in shops as against the boiled ones that are hawked along the streets of Lagos and other cities). Arginine is particularly important in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are considered a great supporter of the overall cleansing ability of the liver because of its content of arginine, glutathione and omega 3 fatty acids.
Others
Olive oil and Flax seed oil

These contain lipids like omega 3 fatty acids, which absorb toxins, thereby reducing the load of toxins getting into the liver.
Green Tea

Green tea contains the plant antioxidant catechin, which assists the liver in its cleansing functions by neutralizing the free radicals.

To keep the liver healthy and functioning optimally, my advice is that you begin to add these veggies, fruits and grains to your diet on a daily basis. Make up your mind and decide that your liver will never be over-burdened by the work that GOD created it to perform. Avoid alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, reduce your intake of high protein (animal protein), carbohydrates and fatty foods and stop smoking. These can all make the liver to be overworked. To help the liver in functioning optimally, the source of toxins, acids, chemicals etc should be reduced.

Here are some signs and symptoms of an over-worked liver.
Unexplained fatigue, headaches, painful joints, abdominal pain and discomfort, digestive problems, coated tongue and occasional constipation. Others are, excess gas, bloating, bad breath, urinating frequently, rashes, itching of the skin, weight gain, mood swings and memory lapses.
Supplementation

The following supplements taken on a regular basis will support the good health and healthy functioning of the liver:
Milk Thistle, contains an antioxidant, silymarin which neutralizes free radicals and prevents the lipid cell membrane of the hepatocytes (liver cells) from damage. It can also counteract toxins and prevent the liver from damage. Silymarin has the ability to cause regeneration of the liver cells.

Artichoke leaf, a herbal medicine for healthy liver function, it helps to stimulate the production of bile so as to have a large store of bile.
Alpha Lipoic Acid

This supplement helps to increase levels of glutathione and the liver enzymes. It also protects the liver from free radical damage and inflammation.
Turmeric

This is a powerful liver tonic which helps to stimulate flow of bile and aids the liver to digest fats. It also protects the liver from toxins and inflammation. It balances cholesterol and it is particularly useful in supporting the health of the heart.
Other supplements that are useful in supporting the health and function of the liver are: soy lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), Olive leaf extract, Burdock root and Dandelion root.
Diseases that hinder the function of the liver

There are certain diseases that interfere with the function of the liver. It is important that we consider a few of such diseases so as to know how to prevent them. As such diseases are prevented, the liver will be able to perform its function optimally and rid the body of acids, toxins, chemicals, microorganisms etc.

The first of these diseases to be discussed is Fatty Liver Disease (FLD). FLD is also known as steatosis. This is a disease that is characterized by excessive deposition of fat in the liver tissue. Under normal circumstances, the amount of fat in the liver should not exceed five to 10 per cent of the weight of the liver.

Types of Fatty Liver Disease
There are four types of fatty liver disease
1. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
In this type of fatty liver disease, the ability of the liver to metabolise fat may have become compromised or there is excess production of fat cells. There is secondarily an accumulation of fat in the liver tissue.
Causes of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
They include high blood cholesterol and hyperlipidemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, rapid and excessive weight loss, genetic disorders and side effects of such drugs as aspirin, tetracycline, tamoxifen etc.
Symptoms of FLD

Fatty liver disease may be symptomless for a long time. However, in some cases, symptoms like fatigue, abdominal discomfort, loss of weight, loss of apetite and feeling sick have been experienced. In extreme cases, the liver may become inflamed and these symptoms will become more severe.



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